So, I ran into this show as a link on a forum and thought it may be worthwhile to post. Although I dislike the use of the word “trannies”, I do like that the show is both vegan and involves trans folks. Enjoy and subscribe!
I was reading Jacky’s blog today and a bit of an epiphany (??) struck me (well, something like that). I’ve heard, and personally experienced, where cis-gendered men help trans men learn various male activities: tying a tie, smoking a cigar, how to dress, etc. Sort of a quasi-bonding effect. And it’s made me begin to wonder if this is the one way to remove “hatred” towards trans individuals by involving cis-gendered individuals into the transition process. It’s not to say that they should be forced to participate but rather that if help is offered, it may be worthwhile to accept it. Laws do not help society accept change; being exposed to a positive experience does (conversely, so negative experience re-enforce stereotypes and poor preconceived notions).
This is also not to say that if you’re stealth that you come out, looking for a cis-gendered mentor/big brother/big sister. I think that having this, especially as we go through our puberty stage of life (yet again!), can be helpful all around in the long run beyond us. Those that did the Stonewall Riots started the path for us. This helps us set that path more and more as an open one for all who walk down this path. And, ideally, to do so without fear, uncertainty or doubt (there should be a healthy smattering of each of those but they shouldn’t shadow our lives to non-existence).
One thing I’m not sure of is whether this is strictly something that FTMs experience it or whether trans-women get help from cis-gendered women as well (strangers, colleagues rather than spouses). But even spouses, to me, are more supportive when they feel they are part of the process and have value to add. It’s really something that is needed and can be helpful, especially for someone like me who didn’t really have male role-models. I have recently joined FTM Mentors as one place to get some support from other trans guys and I might see more support from colleagues in May (we’ll see — it will be interesting to see what is said or asked).
I’ve noticed more and more, as I get further into my transition, that my body dysphoria is increasing. As a kid, I was never fond of my breasts and never had a strong attachment to them (albeit they are rather attached to me). But I can remember not wanting them, largely due to back pain and just general disassociation with them. I took more pride and desire to magnify biceps, neck and thigh muscles (muscular look, not feminine). Those feelings have always been there for as long as I remember (although I didn’t know why nor did I want to question why). That all said, I have to admit being surprised as to how much more that disassociation would grow now that I’ve been on T nearly 8 months now. Some might say that if I had only the right kind of body image support at a younger age my present path wouldn’t have happened.
But I doubt it. I had lots of body image support. My family was always supportive of the person I am and always made me feel comfortable about the person I was. I just could never be comfortable. I was always awkward about who I was and never quite seemed to get it. I suppose it was that feeling of not belonging to society as a whole. I couldn’t understand how people were ok with themselves and how they dealt with this disconnection. Today, I finally understand what the connection to one’s body feels like and what I need to do to feel complete.
This doesn’t come without doubts. Certainly I wonder whether this is the path for me. That’s normal. I do think that not having doubts can be detrimental because it just assumes everything will be solved by whatever drug. That isn’t the final answer but may be part of the answer. For me, thus far, it has been. I also suspect that surgery may be part of my path (at least top and hysto). The top surgery would be more than my trans desires; simple pain relief is a big factor there as is breast cancer prevention (there are some studies that indicate that testosterone in a genetic female body can contribute to causing breast cancer).
And yet, I still ask: am I making the right choice? I pass more. I feel more comfortable with myself and who I am. I’m more confident about the person I am, even in public. Part of me wonders “why me?”. Why couldn’t I have been happy with the way I am? I don’t think it’s wholly nature or wholly nurture but rather a mix of the two. Certainly gender is partially socially constructed (i.e., society determines what the accepted gender of an individual is) but it is also personally constructed (i.e., how we perceive and present ourselves to everyone else).
To me, to transition, means that I get to sync up what the personal view is with what the societal acceptance is. Granted, there are times when I may face some challenges but I have found that it’s less likely to happen for an FTM than compared to an MTF. I suspect some of this (actually, most of this) is tied into misogynistic views and male privilege thought (i.e., an MTF is giving up privilege, thus weak and thus challenging the existing system & potentially becoming a threat). I also have noticed more challenges to those that choose to be stealth, are discovered to be trans/non-cis-gendered and thus, become the target of rage because of a feeling of being lied to, deceived, etc. To me, a cis-gendered person won’t be able to understand the whys of something, especially if it’s hidden from them. It could be a sense of privilege being stripped from them (i.e., they feel that they thought they knew what gender a person was and that thought was comforting).
Perhaps since I’m still at that grey area of life/transition where I’ve got one foot in the old door and one foot in the new that I don’t face as much of a challenge. In fact, one of the things I’m finding as I spend more and more time in the new is this lack of challenging who I am. I haven’t shaved my goatee/beard and no one has issue with it. Much like some others I know, I rarely seem to face overt discrimination or challenge. I’m not sure why. This certainly doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. I know it does. I suppose I should be thankful that I haven’t had to face it or, perhaps, not having to face it overtly.
Hello?? This thing on??
Ok. So it arrived today: my new itouch. Needless to say, this is a nice way to be “computerless”. It does bring out the kid in me. I’ve been downloading and playing with the apps. It’s been pretty neat.
The big thing is finding good apps, specifically free ones. I did get the kindle one, the level, sudoku, movie listing, wordpress, something to track cigars with, and a few others. So does anyone have some favs?
February’s poll on health care gave rather predictable results with all those that responding to the question about coverage for Trans Health inclusiveness into Universal Health Care being 100% and only 2 out of 15 people saying that there should be no Universal Health Care in the US. The results are, I strongly suspect, the result of who the readers are. Having grown up in a nation where health care is a universal privilege, it’s weird to be in a nation where it’s not. But realistically impletementing it here will be difficult. One of the first things that will help is strong, secure and trustworthy universal health record keeping. I’m not sure how realistic that will be given the nature of some here. It will be interesting to see what happens, if anything, in regards to this. It’s a monsterous feat, to say the least, to implement in a population of the size of the present US population.
One of the things that I’ve seen a lot of lately are questions about LGBTQ friendly health care and that got me thinking about a topic that is often discussed both within the overall LGBTQ community and the trans community specifically: should the T remain part of the LGBTQ? I’ve talked about this before but there are times when I really question whether it’s worth it and whether we really belong. The T part of LGBTQ is about gender while the other parts of the “family” are about sexual orientation. Then again, you wouldn’t have this whole thing on sexual orientation without the perception of what gender is and isn’t. I was reading Miss Monica Roberts blog TransGriot and noticed this blog entry. I’m ashamed of what this gentleman did, said and conveyed. He certainly doesn’t express my view as a white man, gay or otherwise.
At the same time, however, he’s not the first. I’ve seen others from the lesbian camp sprout the same (or worse!). I’ve been told I’ve betrayed who I am (uh.. no.); that I’m a fraud; that because of my choice I’m no longer welcomed (I’m perceived as a white “straight” male — not quite) etc. It’s stuff like this that makes me question whether we really should be part of the overall group. HRC has no issue tossing us under their trampling feet as they rush for ENDA, whether it will pass or not. And then, on the other hand, I have so many close and dear friends (and chosen family) that are LGBTQ. I feel a connection with the overall.
That is me, however. I am curious as to what others feel or think. When you answer this poll, if you want, please comment. Let me know the whys and why-fores, as it were. I only ask that you be respectful.
If only the rest of the world was like this. My jaw nearly dropped as I watched this video. I think it does highlight how much more progressive other parts of the world are compared to the USA and Canada. Watch the whole video. I know if I was in Argentina right now, I’d use that bank exclusively.